Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar and Polyphemus Caterpillar

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Northeastern Houston TX
October 17, 2016 5:29 pm
I trimmed some branches off my small oak tree and when picking up the branches I felt a sting similar to a wasp sting in my hand. Within 30 minutes I was in blinding pain raidiating up my arm like my hand was on fire and broken and pain in the armpit. Pain lasted about 12 hours and 2 days later my arm is still sore. I’ve begun searching the oak for possible culprits, I’m leaning towards and asp caterpillar but haven’t found one yet. Instead I have found these two beauties. I’m going to keep searching. I’m thinking the one is a Polyphemus caterpillar. The other maybe a spiny oak slug?
Signature: Theresa in TX

Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar
Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar

Dear Theresa,
While one of your caterpillars is a harmless Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar, which you can verify by comparing to this BugGuide image, your other caterpillar is definitely a Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar,
Euclea delphinii, which is also pictured on BugGuide.  There are many species of Stinging Slug Caterpillars in the family Limacodidae, and of the Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar, BugGuide indicates:  “Caution, this is a stinging caterpillar. ”

Polyphemus Caterpillar
Polyphemus Caterpillar

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